Fine dining Food

The Peacock at Rowsley

[AD] The Peacock at Rowsley is a beautiful, historic boutique hotel. Located in the pretty village of Rowsley on the outskirts of Bakewell, the hotel is superbly situated for exploring the Peak District National Park. Part of the Haddon Estate, The Peacock is close to both Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House, two magnificent tourist attractions. In short, it’s the perfect luxurious rural bolthole and seems to be the hotel of choice for film crews working in the area.

The Peacock’s three AA rosette restaurant serves a delicious fine dining menu carefully curated by Head Chef Dan Smith, using the finest quality, local, seasonal produce. In addition to the indulgent, fine dining menu, a more relaxed bar menu is available to suit most tastes or moods. The bar itself is an atmospheric, convivial place to relax and unwind.

I was invited by The Peacock to review the new summer menu and looked forward to my visit for weeks. The Peacock at Rowsley was actually one of the very first places I was invited to review when I first started blogging back in 2019. Back then, my husband and I had enjoyed an absolutely faultless gastronomic experience and I was intrigued to see whether it was as good as I remembered. On this occasion, I took my lovely Mum for lunch.

dining room at The Peacock at Rowsley

Summer menu at The Peacock at Rowsley

After a scenic drive through the Peaks, we received a really genuine, warm welcome from the hotel’s receptionist who, at our request took us straight to our table in the beautiful restaurant. The décor throughout the old manor house is largely traditional with historic paintings and traditional upholstery mixed with the occasional more contemporary piece.

As you’d expect at a restaurant of this calibre, even the bread course was a delight. We both enjoyed the generously portioned, delectably crispy, freshly baked bread with whipped butter.

fine dining starter - tomato salad

To start, I enjoyed a beautifully vibrant dish of tomato, red pepper and goat’s curd salad with chilled red pepper and tomato sauce (£9.85). I particularly enjoyed the creamy goat’s cheese and the deliciously piquant sauce. My Mum picked an equally summery dish of cured salmon, cucumber, elderflower vinegar, radish and garden lovage (£10.25). Both starters were exceptionally well presented with a wonderful combination of textures and flavours.

cured salmon starter

For my main course, I’d decided on the fish of the day – today being monkfish on a truffle risotto and served with artichoke, cauliflower and salsify. The fish was beautifully cooked, the risotto moreish and overall a delicious and well balanced dish. My Mum opted for the vegetarian choice of polenta croquettes with truffled summer beans, girolles, corn velouté (£21.95). A range of sandwiches are also available on the lunch menu.

starters at The Peacock at Rowsley

There were a scrumptious range of dessert options, after much agonising I eventually plumped for a dark chocolate marquise with poached cherries and white chocolate cream (£9.50). This was heavenly -with the cherries perfectly complementing the sumptuous chocolate. Mum opted for a very generously sized peach melba crumble with almond custard (£9.50) which she relished.

chocolate marquise with cherries
desserts at The Peacock at Rowsley

We decided to take our coffee in the lounge, a wonderfully relaxing place to sit and watch the world go by in comfy armchairs. We both loved the petit fours consisting of a chocolate and caramel, white chocolate and passionfruit and a mango pastille – all utterly delicious!

 The Peacock at Rowsley lounge

Service was superb – charming and attentive throughout. Overall, we both had a wonderful time. Superlative food in exquisite surroundings – what’s not to love? For the quality, I thought the prices were actually very reasonable.    

Gardens at The Peacock at Rowsley

garden at The Peacock at Rowsley
 The Peacock at Rowsley exterior

Before we left we enjoyed a little wander around the manicured garden. Sadly the weather was a little overcast – but what a perfect example of an English country garden. This would be a glorious place to eat al fresco on a balmy summer’s day.

Go for:

First-rate fine dining in refined surroundings. The perfect place for a special meal.  


The Peacock at Rowsley, Derbyshire, DE4 2EB,


Telephone +44(0)1629 733 518

Car park for guests.          

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By Molly Scott

Derbyshire blogger - bringing you the best places to eat, drink, spa and stay in the wider Derbyshire area. Champion of the most fabulous independents.

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